Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2147

Dated: 18 Apr 2009




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Don’t let police off the hook

"No justice, No peace" was the rallying cry of campaigners last Saturday as they marched for justice for Ian Tomlinson.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Massive Tamil demonstration in central London demands Sri Lanka ceasefire

Well over 100,000 Tamils and their supporters marched through central London on Saturday to protest at the Sri Lankan government’s continuing attacks on Tamil areas.

Photos of Tamil demonstration in London, Saturday 11 April 2009

Raids and reports fuel Islamophobia

A high-profile counter-terrorism raid, in which 12 Pakistani students were arrested on Wednesday of last week, has raised key issues over civil liberties and the "war on terror".

PCS to strike for conditions

Over 10,000 members of the PCS civil service workers’ union in call centres in the Revenue & Customs department are building up to take action against attacks on their terms and conditions.

Resistance to cuts at Salford University

Lecturers and students at Salford University are fighting plans by management to push through 150 job cuts.

JCB threatens workers’ future

Workers at JCB are coming to the end of the short working hours deal they agreed to last year.

Metroline to ballot for action

Bus drivers at Metroline in north London were due to hold a consultative strike ballot across all its garages on Friday of this week.

NHS Trust upholds Yunus Bakhsh sacking

Management at Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust last week upheld the sacking of Yunus Bakhsh.

Tony Staunton and Yunus Bakhsh - Unison versus union activists

An Employment Appeal Tribunal judged in favour of victimised union activist Tony Staunton after he was barred from standing in union elections. The court rejected an appeal lodged by the Unison union to overturn a ruling in favour of Tony by the Certification Officer.

Union leaders meet to discuss public sector pay

Union leaders from Unite, GMB and Unison unions met on Tuesday last week to discuss public sector pay.

Glasgow council workers’ strike to save pay enters 15th week

The Glasgow community service supervisors’ strike is now in its 15th week and the city-wide Unison union branch ballot is continuing.

Teachers’ conference shows mood to fight

The NUT teachers’ union held its annual conference in Cardiff last weekend amid growing economic crisis and increasing threats to public sector spending.

Basildon workers’ struggle is an inspiration to others

Visteon workers in Basildon are keeping up the fight for justice. Workers are permanently camped outside the plant.

Murky tale of Visteon company sales gets clearer

The company accounts obscure the real structure of Visteon UK, but they do reveal that it has links with a myriad of firms.

Ordinary people rally to back ongoing Visteon occupation in Belfast

The occupation of the Visteon plant in Belfast is now into its third week.

Ford-Visteon struggle: ‘We won’t give up this vital fight for justice’

Workers at the Ford Visteon car components plant in Enfield, north London, are continuing their campaign for jobs and justice despite ending their occupation of the site on Thursday of last week.

Tayside Fire Board cuts rejected

Councillors at the Tayside Fire Board have overwhelmingly rejected cuts to services proposed by chief fire officer Stephen Hunter.

Vote to strike against rail workers’ job cuts

Over 3,000 workers in the RMT transport union at six contractors who work for the Network Rail infrastructure company are to be balloted for industrial action after the firms failed to say there would be no compulsory redundancies.

Tube bosses use the law to hold off strike

There is deep anger among London tube workers in the RMT transport union after a legal challenge by their bosses to a strike ballot means that workers will have to vote again.

One-day strike set for Victoria line

Tube drivers in the RMT union on London Underground’s Victoria Line are set to strike for 24 hours from 9pm on Tuesday of next week over the sacking of a worker.

Strike against ‘management bullying’ on Jubilee line

Around 100 station staff in the Willesden Green London Underground station group struck for 24 hours from 7pm on Wednesday of last week over what their RMT union describes as "aggressive and bullying local management".

Postal workers: ‘members have told the union to act’

Union reps from the postal workers CWU union across London agreed a timetable last week for a ballot for industrial action and strikes that would follow.

Daily Record and Sunday Mail rally in Glasgow

Journalists taking part in a one-day strike at the Daily Record and Sunday Mail in Glasgow organised a rally after it was announced that up to 24 staff members faced compulsory redundancy.

Visteon workers determined to win

The defiant stand taken by sacked Ford Visteon car component workers at plants in Belfast, Basildon and Enfield marks a turning point in class struggle in Britain.

Visteon workers reject insulting offer

Sacked workers at Visteon have rejected a pathetic offer from bosses and are continuing their fight for jobs and justice.

How to show your support for Visteon workers

Everyone can do something to support the Visteon workers – whether it is taking a collection, inviting a worker to speak at a union or campaign meeting, visiting the plants or organising a protest at a local Ford showroom.

Join the demo for jobs

Momentum is building for the national demonstration for jobs on Saturday 16 May in Birmingham, called by the Unite union.

Leeds: a stain on the city

I came across the hidden history of David Oluwale while working in Leeds. I’d been away from the north for some years and Leeds seemed a very different city to the one I’d known in my youth. Back then it was tribes of beer-drinking Tetley Bittermen, goths, and football hooligans from the Service Crew. Mostly unpleasant, dark stuff.

The rot goes deeper than one policeman

It is a terrible indictment of the British police that the death of Ian Tomlinson during the G20 protests two weeks ago was entirely predictable.

Campaigners step up fight to gain justice for Ian Tomlinson

Over 500 people marched last Saturday from Bethnal Green police station to the spot in the City of London where Ian Tomlinson died.

Nottingham arrests threaten right to protest

Some 20 police vans descended on a school in Nottingham in the early hours of Monday morning to arrest 114 people.

‘Ground these helicopters’

The RMT transport union is calling for Super Puma helicopters to be suspended from use following an initial report into the crash that killed 16 people off the coast of ­northeast Scotland this month.

Light shining through Prisme

Workers at the Prisme packaging plant in Dundee entered their seventh week of occupation on Wednesday.

Inmates protest at ‘crumbling’ jail

Some 300 prisoners at HMP Ashwell open prison in Rutland, Lancashire, set fire to prison buildings over the Easter weekend in a protest over their loss of privileges – a move often used by authorities to punish prisoners.

Bosses’ attacks escalate – up to a third of pension schemes could close

Company bosses escalated their attacks on workers’ pensions last week as Aon, the world’s biggest insurance broker, announced it would slash its contributions to its final salary scheme in half.

Does smear scandal trail lead back to Unite union?

Attempts to set up a website to smear Tory politicians led to one New Labour spin doctor resigning last week and a fresh crisis for Gordon Brown.

Glasgow schools sit-in has egg-head councillors hiding

Occupations by parents at two Glasgow schools threatened with closure have entered their second week—and put local councillors on the defensive.

New evidence of police violence at G20 protest

The sequence of images above paint yet another disturbing picture of the events surrounding the G20 protests. They were shot just after the police had regained control of the area around the Royal Bank of Scotland.

G20 death: Ian Tomlinson’s second post-mortem reports ‘abdominal haemorrhage’

Ian Tomlinson died not long after being hit and pushed by police at the G20 protest near the Bank of England on 1 April.


International

Somalia: the pirates are in Washington

The US has confronted Somalia, once again, with its guns blazing. This time special forces killed a group of Somali pirates who were holding captive a US ship’s captain.

Former US allies in Iraq become its enemies

The faultlines in Iraq are deepening as the country marks six years of occupation.

Thailand: Army crackdown aims to silence ‘Red Shirts’

Smoke from burnt out buses and fire bombs filled the streets of Bangkok on Monday of this week as the Thai army launched a crackdown on the Red Shirt protesters who are challenging the government.

Who are the key players in Thailand?

Thaksin Shinawatra Mobile phone and media tycoon who founded the Thai Rak Thai party after the economic crisis of 1997.


Comment

This recession still has a way to run

Is the worst of the economic crisis over? BBC Radio 4’s Today programme has been babbling about this for the past week or so, and Barack Obama has now joined them.


Features

Sri Lanka’s war

A vicious and increasingly one-sided war is taking place on the island of Sri Lanka – a few dozen miles off the coast of south east India.

Sri Lanka map

20 years after the Hillsborough disaster, state cover-up continues

Thousands of people’s lives were torn apart 20 years ago this week when 96 Liverpool football fans were crushed to death at the Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield.

How to stop the BNP’s Euro dreams

There is a terrible danger that the fascist British National Party (BNP) could make a major breakthough on 4 June by winning seats in the European parliament elections.

‘Every time we expose them as Nazis we hurt their prospects’

"No-one can afford to be complacent about the BNP," says Paul, a Unite Against Fascism (UAF) activist based in Barrow, Cumbria.

Graph showing rise of BNP vote

Turn recession anger on bosses

The failings of New Labour and the trade union leaders are allowing the BNP to benefit from the economic crisis.

The struggles that shook the old feudal order

The changes that took place within feudalism between the 10th and 14th centuries created the basis for a different logic of production – one based on commodity exchange rather than an immediate consumption.


Reviews

‘The Enemy Within’ T-shirt competition

Five Socialist Worker readers have a chance to win this new T-shirt from Philosophy Football commemorating the 1984-85 Miners’ Strike.

Catching History On The Wing

This new paperback collects together over 30 years of essays by A Sivanandan, the campaigner, writer and director of the Institute of Race Relations.

Tony Manero

Tony Manero is a film set in Chile’s capital city Santiago in 1978 – during the brutal dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.

A Day and a Night and a Day - haunted by memories of torture

Glen Duncan’s new novel is a political thriller about extraordinary rendition and torture. It features Augustus Rose, a mixed race American who is a former student radical, disillusioned journalist, restaurant boss and a terrorist.

Radiokijada - Peru’s hidden music from tea chests and jawbones

Rodolfo Muñoz Ramirez is a percussionist from Lima, Peru, and Christoph Müller is an Austrian musician most famous for his work with The Gotan Project.


What We Think

Lord Adonis takes a trip

Transport minister Lord Adonis was travelling round Britain by train this week to get "first hand experience" of the rail service.

The hollow shell of Labour

One of the first scandals to hit the New Labour government came in 1998. Members of Tony Blair’s inner circle were caught on tape boasting about how they could sell access to government ministers and create tax breaks for their clients.

Laws are designed to hold back workers

Workers occupying to save jobs are hit with eviction orders and court summons. Even workers who have voted by 83 percent for strikes find themselves threatened with the courts.


Other Categories

Leon Kuhn: watchdog

Tim: Appeal for Witnesses

Letters

Boiling with rage after being ‘kettled’ by cops On Wednesday 1 April, the police "kettled" me and other anti-G20 protesters at the Bank of England. They prevented us from leaving by pushing us violently with batons and shields. I eventually got to the climate camp protest at around 5pm, but at 7pm riot police blocked all exits and forbade anyone from coming in or out of the street – we were "kettled" once more.

Quotes from the week’s news

‘If you want to be a superstar blogger, get in the papers but lose Labour an election – you can just fuck off’New Labour’s superstar blogger Derek Draper at last year’s party conference – before he helped cause this week’s crisis



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